The Calculated Risks of Prayer, Part 4: The Danger of Having Our Prayers Answered

I firmly believe that most of us have a far greater fear of success than we do a fear of failure. Failure we get. Our hopes and dreams have been dashed on the rocks more times than we can imagine: we lost the job, our partner cheated on us, we didn’t lose the weight, we never finished high school, etc. I hope you’ve seen in the first three parts of this series that the term “risk” in working with prayer is being used with a “tongue-in-cheek” meaning.

But success? OMG – if we get what we want what WILL we complain about?!? I’m sure you have people in your life (peripherally, I hope!) that you are sure belong to the Complaint-Of-The-Month Club. These dear folks are so attached to their problems that the problem du jour becomes a way of life, a guiding force to be considered about all else. The metaphysical Law of Increase states that whatever we focus our attention on increases. That’s great news if we are concentrating on creating a better life for ourselves, but not so much if we are always looking to the negative. I call it the “Eyeore Effect”, named after the pessimistic donkey of Winnie-the-Pooh fame. Since Law is no respecter of persons or intention, but simply responds, that same Law works just as consistently if we are concentrating on the next shoe dropping…and so it will.

So the last and really the biggest risk of prayer is having our prayer answered, i.e., we actually get what we want. Prayers never go unanswered and our treatments always work. I’m not a fan of “never” and “always”, but in this case they are applicable. Now, having said that, I must agree that our prayers are not always answered the way we want or in the time in which we expect them to be answered. Likewise, our treatments do not always manifest the way we expect them to on the conscious level.

The fact remains that, thankfully, Universal Law is impersonal and works the same for everyone. We cannot beg, barter, steal or bribe it to working differently. It works immediately and through our level of acceptance will affect the manifestation in our lives.

Believing that God answers prayers comforts millions of people, but it can also be frightening. A Hindu teaching says that when the gods want to punish us they give us what they ask for. I don’t believe in a punishing god, but in a humorous way it reminds us to be aware of what it is for which we are treating or praying. What happens when the prayer is answered?

I can answer that by asking another question: Do you ever become afraid when everything is going right? If we are willing to give up all our pet peeves, ingrained prejudices and old grievances we just might find peace in more areas of our lives than we thought possible. If we truly believed in the power of prayer and the strength of our treatments the world would look like a much different place. Dr. Ernest S. Holmes, the founder of the Science of Mind said over 50 years ago that if we only had 1,000 religious science practitioners practicing this philosophy we would change the world. We have had far more than 1,000 licensed practitioners for some time and thousands more lay practitioners using the principle of the Science of Mind. It’s time we started manifesting more effectively what we claim to believe, both for the planet and for our personal expression of life.

Harsh words? Not really. It’s Reality, and yes I mean to type the “R” and not the “r”. The Reality is that the Law of Cause and Effect has no excuse clause, no “I can treat for others, but I can’t treat for myself” clause, or a “God just doesn’t hear my prayer” nonsense. Are we ready for manifestation or not? Are we ready for God to answer our prayers or not? Or, are we only as ready as St. Augustine, who is reported to have prayed, “God make me pure - but not yet”.

Yes, there are calculated risks to prayer, even greater risks if we use Spiritual Mind Treatment. But these are not risks to our well-being – they are risks worth taking. What we are risking is having a life worth living. We are risking being happy all or at least most of the time. We are risking giving up complaining, whining and “puling” (that’s a wonderful little term I learned a while back which basically describes what it sounds like when people have taken whining to an art form).

The Centers and Churches of religious science are places you can risk being who you truly are. Unity and Unitarian churches are another option, as are so many affirming Christian churches, mosques, synagogues and groups too numerous to mention. The Science of Mind teaching supports you in being all that you can be. If it doesn’t float your boat, then find something that does. My foundation is Science of Mind, but I also practice transcendental meditation, Kundalini yoga, and celebrate the passing of time through Christian and pagan rituals and celebrations. Find what works for you. There is no “one way” to peace and a life worth living, but the way that evolves for you will have the same golden thread of Truth that I write about through the Science of Mind principles.

Take the risks. The payoffs are beyond your greatest expectations, for God always has a bigger idea for our unfoldment. I leave you and this four-part series with the words of the wise metaphysician, Mr. Willy Wonka of the well-known Chocolate Factory. He told the children: “There was a man who wanted everything he asked for. One day he got it. And do you know what happened to him? ..... He was very, very happy”.

Take the risks - DARE to be happy! And so it is!